Community Education programs in Kentucky are in a bit of a panic as state lawmakers work to hammer out a new state budget. Governor Matt Bevin’s budget proposal strips funding for all 95 community education programs in the commonwealth.
If funding were eliminated, perhaps the greatest impact would be felt in the local non-profits' before and after school program for elementary children. Many working parents depend on the service that sends Community Education employees into schools to provide childcare outside of normal school hours.
Debi Wade Jordan heads Community Education of Bowling Green and Warren County.
"I don't know what working parents would do because we have about a thousand families that we serve every day in Warren County," explained Jordan. "What impact would this have on the economic fabric of our community if those one thousand families were without child care?"
The state provided a total of $1.9 million dollars to Community Education programs in the 2016-17 fiscal year. Jordan says the local non-profits generated nearly $20 million dollars in revenue, much of which was returned to the state in the form of tax dollars.
In addition to school-age child care, Community Education also offers adult enrichment classes, volunteer training, and a job development program.